It is painful to be in conflict with someone you love. The conflict may take the form of big fights or there may be a carefully nuanced avoidance. It seems it shouldn’t be so hard to get along, to agree on the life you want to build together. And yet it continues to be difficult day after day. It hurts not to be able to turn to one another. Sometimes it hurts to see yourself through the eyes of the person you love. The rest of your life may feel out of alignment as you struggle to live with the pain of disconnection.
We are wired to feel safely connected to one another. When we’re not, it hurts as intensely as a physical injury.
Today, we have Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is an attachment-based model. There is finally an evidence-based (or scientifically tested) approach to helping couples. We can help people learn how to combat painful cycles. We can test outcomes. We can use fMRI machines to measure arousal, pain and comfort. We know what helps people feel loved and safe. EFT helps couples find their responsiveness and engagement with one another. That’s what I do.
I am grateful I have been a psychologist long enough to have trained in EFT. I help couples find hope again when their marriages or partnerships are just beginning. I also help couples cope with a blended family. I enjoy working with couples well into their retirement years. We’re never too old to find love.
My favorite moments are when I hear that the son or daughter of a couple I am seeing are happier because their parents are happier. The parents are enjoying one another again—feeling safe with one another--and so their home is calmer and kinder. To me, that means the impact of what we do as EFT therapists is multi-generational.
I must confess, though, that the real reason I love EFT is because it has changed my own relationships. We call it “attachment theory” but for many of us it is about learning to love. I had a lot to learn about love. We know more about love than we ever have. As I’ve become more accessible, responsive and engaged—the hallmarks of what we’re fostering in EFT--my relationships have deepened. I am a grateful mom, stepmom, mother-in-law and grandmother.
I've been a Seattle psychologist in private practice since 1984. I see individuals and couples (spouses and partners, parents and adult children, coworkers and teammates). I have been trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy. More about me is available here.
I am a Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist. This means I have submitted videos of my work with couples to the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy - as well as having documented my qualifications for this work.
Love what you do,
Love who you do it for,
Love who you do it with